Government announced yesterday slight changes to the policy directive. Specifically, grocery stores may only have the store within a store model or 100% wine on shelves; not both.

Clarification updates have been published to Policy Directive 15-01 and are, available via http://www.pssg.gov.bc.ca/lclb/policy/relocation.htm.

Liquor Control and Licensing Branch, Ministry of Justice wrote: “With respect to grocery store eligibility, it is now clear that the “50% Rule” requires the majority of total sales revenue within a grocery store to come from food and non-liquor beverages; furthermore this rule and the “70% Rule” regarding non-liquor sales revenue ratios are not prerequisites for eligibility, but rather terms and conditions on the retail licence going forward. In other words, a grocery store that is not yet built nor eligible on March 31 can legally contain a liquor retailer on April 1, provided compliance is achieved from that day forward. Applicants who submitted applications prior to this update will not be affected by this update.

With respect to the 1-kilometre rule, additional address information is being provided periodically at http://www.pssg.gov.bc.ca/lclb/licensed/liquor_retail_location.htm as it becomes available. Specifically, location addresses contained in applications received prior to February 27, are being identified and listed on that web page as applications are deemed complete and compliant with the 1 kilometre rule. It is important to note that these addresses (just like the ones listed originally) represent locations that subsequent applications (i.e. lottery submissions) may be affected by according to the 1-kilometre distance criteria. This situation is similar to the normal practice of only updating the list every two weeks; however, in the interest of fairness, any LRS lottery relocation applications that are unsuccessful only on account of those additional addresses will be reimbursed their application fee.

Additionally, please be advised that the present rules respecting minimum pricing will continue for the foreseeable future, i.e. you may not sell liquor for less than the price you paid for it. Government is continuing to review this issue and is also considering the recommendation of Parliamentary Secretary John Yap that LDB markup should vary depending on the alcohol volume of the product. For example, a beer with a 7% alcohol level might have a higher markup than a beer with 4% alcohol. Consultations with industry and other stakeholders will occur before any decisions are made on these matters.”

To learn more about pending policy changes or for assistance with your relocation or grocery store licensing, please contact Rising Tide Consultants.

http://www.pssg.gov.bc.ca/lclb

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